Stalwarts 2022

Education Stalwarts 2022 | Dr. B. Chandra Sekhar, Chairman of Johnson Grammar School | Leaders in Education

I believe a vision with action helps in accomplishing the goal. A true visionary is one who can couple the vision with a process. Action devised wholly as a coordinated effort of the entire team sees more fruition. It is all about a team’s collective success. When it is an equation of ‘We = Success’, the element of ‘I’ downplays automatically and in such an arrangement thrives trust, leadership and altruistic orientation. This is also a liberating experience for the visionary who understands that personal aspirations do not form a part of the picture when it is about team or organisational goals. A strong visionary involves, inspires and steers everyone towards a common goal, creating unity and loyalty and fostering credibility while heading along. It can never be a one man show.

For a leader to be effective, it is essential that he/she understands the difference between leading others through someone and leading someone who is in the role of leading others. Making everyone take pride in their contribution towards an accomplishment or bear the consequences of any unfulfilled assignment will develop a feeling of ownership in them which will eventually make them either celebrate their success or learn from their flaws. Space and demarcation of area is crucial, and so is control with just the required amount of interference and providing challenges to increase their capabilities.

My team perceives the ability to set an environment of continuous improvement as one of the endearing aspects about me. Setting opportunities with directions and inspiration is another riveting factor. Being a considerable contributor to the team and standing as a protective shield in the midst of crisis is what makes me dependable. Noticing each member’s contribution is in itself a motivating factor for the team members as it makes them feel significant and valued. Vision coupled with expectation, strengthened with care and compassion more or less defines my connect with my team, along with being a good listener. 

While I am honoured to be regarded as the face of the institution, I do understand that no organisation solely rests on the shoulders of a single person. It is built by the collective effort of the entire team. The classroom is incomplete without the face of a teacher, a visitor seems lost if not taken care of by the Front Office Executives, the sick are attended to by the patient and considerate Infirmary Staff, the smiling face of the Drivers builds the trust and makes the parents leave their children in our hands with confidence, the Finance and Operations team support the dreams of expansion. The premises remain spick and span because of the meticulous inspection of the House Keeping and Maintenance team. The sleepless nights and round the clock supervision of the Security team and the ever trusting students and parents are the people who make the brand stand tall. The dedicated and dextrous contribution of every member paves the way to brand building.

Making a person realise his/her self-worth contributes largely to igniting a spirit of motivation. An organisation must aim at equipping the teachers with the latest educational tools and practices through in-house and external workshops. Teacher engagement activities, events and competitions harbour a sense of belongingness, which is a propelling factor for collaboration. Acknowledging their effort, strengths and milestones is paramount in keeping the momentum of the work that is churned out. Valuable contributions can be validated through an ‘Appreciation Note’ or a ‘Reward’.

The motivational levels of the teacher and students are directly proportional.  Keeping the work environment transparent, ensuring approachability and giving an ear to their perspectives – all help in sustaining motivation. Spurring them to take up tasks beyond their comfort zones chisels a path of self-discovery for them. This, in turn, translates to job satisfaction.

Perseverance is tantamount to success. It was the tenacious effort of the Founder Chairman of JGS, Late Shri. S.R.N. Mudiraj that the institution could ride waves of all heights to emerge as a renowned contributing factor to the society. Newer paths are always strewn with challenges. It is when you face these challenges that your ‘never give up attitude’ comes to play. If you are a strong player, victory is yours. As a leader, you evolve to be a source of inspiration for others. A leader, at times needs to be a calculative risk taker. All risks may not transform into success, yet they leave you wiser and with more grit. When the going gets tough, it is imperative to hold the trust of your team. A leader needs to take the blame for the things that did not go well and share the limelight with all during a successful period.

The success of the school’s stakeholders rests on its leader(s). Passion, Integrity and Compassion are important traits when it comes to managing all of them. A leader must learn to appreciate the strengths of others and have the magnanimity to treat them as a complement to his weaknesses.

School being a highly influential and detrimental component of the society, needs to guide its students to reach out to the society while making a mark in it. Leaders, hence to be catalysts to change coupled with exploration and innovation.

While being a life-long learner, it is also essential that one must have an open mind with a growth mind-set to be an effective leader. One must be fair and continue to ‘Lead by Example’.

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